Best/Worst of 2008 in Television
I watch a lot of television. I’ve broken it down into 4 relatively arbitrary categories: Animated, Comedy, Drama and Sci Fi/Fantasy. I left Reality sows off the list because, really, no one cares. Some may argue with the categories, but, Hell, it’s my list, so screw Ëœem.
The programs on this list represent shows that were new or ongoing in 2008. As a result, some of them are from the end of last season and some are from the Fall premieres this season. There were some programs that I discovered or were broadcast for the first time in America in 2008 (Primeval, Sarah Jane Adventures) but they were originally produced and/or run in 2007 in the U.K. I did not include them in my choices though they are on the complete list.
I didn’t always have enough to fill out a full 10 shows for each category, so some are a little light. In order from least bad to worst and in order from good to best, here are my top picks.
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force â€œ What was seriously edgy, surrealist humor became pure random nonsense this season. It was like watching a 5-year old paint on the wall with crayons.
- King of the Hill â€œ This show hasn’t been funny since… Ever. Really.
- The Simpsons â€œ I haven’t laughed in 3 seasons now.
Best of 2008:
- The Venture Brothers â€œ Bitingly good satire of all the Saturday morning cartoons we grew up on.
- Family Guy â€œ See Above.
- Robot Chicken â€œ What needs to be said about this show that we haven’t all said before?
- Batman: The Brave and The Bold â€œ I thought I would hate this show, but something about it’s bubblegum sensibility really caught me up in it.
- Kath and Kim â€œ I turned this off after 10 minutes. The characters and writing were that abhorrent.
- Little Britain USA â€œ The original Brit-version was hit or miss. This one is all miss. A combination of generic skits that could be set anywhere with skits that are broad American stereotypes but have no insight or wit. Watch Tracey Takes On to see how an English(wo)man really skewers Americans.
- Big Bang Theory â€œ Sorry to any who can stand this, but these are non-geeks writing what they think geeks are like, but with a laugh track.
- Gary Unmarried â€œ I watched it because I like Jay Mohr, but this is stock-standard sitcom fare.
- Testees â€œ A lame attempt by FX to capitalize on the same sense of humor as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
- How I Met Your Mother â€œ Consistently well-written and it has NPH! Also, the writers for this show and Chuck write geeks better than the Big Bang Theory. Jokes carry over from episode to episode, so doesn’t feel like a one-and-done sitcom. I really, really enjoy this show.
- The Office â€œ It is a well-written show. It’s not the U.K. Version, but it shouldn’t be a retread. Over the life of the show, they’ve made the format they’re own and managed to grow the characters without losing the essence of the show.
- It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia â€œ You either love it or hate it. It’s rude, crude, irreverent and offensive.
- Chuck â€œ In addition to being good fun, Adam Baldwin is always great to watch. This is the show you should watch instead of Big Bang Theory.
- My Name Is Earl â€œ Coming off of a rocky last season, they’ve found their legs again this Fall.
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